David Steiner And His Domestic Factory

published in: Design, Art By Kiri Spirou, 21 July 2013

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Tools
(L-R) Mixer pottery wheel, rotocasting device for washing machine, bending jig, blender lathe, cutlery moulds.
photo © Lynton Pepper.

London-based product designer David Steiner, fresh out of the Royal College of Art, feels better at home. For his recent project titled In House, where the home transforms into a workshop for making hand-made utility objects, he has domesticated a series of industrial production techniques, including an array of molding and casting methods (from steam-bending wood in the microwave to molding clay-like sugar paste on a makeshift potter’s wheel), cutting and bending all sorts of materials along the way. His intention is to use as little specialised equipment as possible. In doing so he builds his own devices by modifying existing domestic appliances and objects - the most ingenious of these being a double-axis rotational cast made out of embroidery loops, fixed with screws inside the tub of a washing machine.

The In House project flirts with process-based art, where the resulting objects are not the aim and goal, but a 'mere' byproduct of the process. Although the results are indeed beautiful and possess a particular aesthetic that betrays the unconventional methods deployed, it is the process itself that is important here. Thus, Steiner’s proposal is in fact one of tapping into the potential of the home as a tamed factory, magically transcending the banality of the confined urban living space in a multitude of surprising ways.

In House / David Steiner
A collection of objects produced using domesticated manufacturing techniques.
photo © Lynton Pepper.

''There is definitely a conscious link to the culture of DIY and self-sufficiency, in fact the reason I wanted the new functions of these objects to be as manufacturing devices was partly as a reaction to the growing prevalence of desktop digital manufacture. I have tried to almost exclusively keep to using raw materials found within the home so that the whole project is very much self-contained.''
David Steiner

David Steiner’s project is a concrete example of sustainable manufacturing processes. Scaled down to fit the home, by placing an emphasis on trusting our own hands and making good use of what we already have, designing is based on what we have at hand.  This working ethos – with its concomitant homemade aura, playfulness and inventive production methods – deserves attention from big manufacturers and design firms, and is definitely something that we need to see more of in the world today.

Video screen shot, © In House, David Steiner.

Pinch Pots
Notice board cork turned on blender lathe and finished with wax crayon.
photo © Lynton Pepper.

Plate Detail
Cast in embroidery hoop mould with polythene backing.
photo © Lynton Pepper.

Video screen shot, © In House, David Steiner.

Video screen shot, © In House, David Steiner.

Cutlery and bottle opener
Pewter cast in cereal box moulds.
photo © Lynton Pepper.

Cutlery and Plates.
photo © Lynton Pepper.

Video screen shot, © In House, David Steiner.

Video screen shot, © In House, David Steiner.

Bowl
Rotational cast in the washing machine using an embroidery hoop and notice board frame, with polypropylene mould.
photo © Lynton Pepper.

Tray
Wooden rulers, blender sanded and microwave steam bent.
photo © Lynton Pepper.

Tray (detail)
photo © Lynton Pepper.

Video screen shot, © In House, David Steiner.

Cup
Sugar paste thrown on the mixer pottery wheel.
photo © Lynton Pepper.

Bake Light
Lampshade made from baking trays, scissor cut and door and cupboard folded, joined with elastic bands.
photo © Lynton Pepper.

sources:

David Steiner

  • friend
    Ramon Ramirez | 2013-07-28 19:49:20

    Not sure I would have gone to so much trouble.

  • friend
    Chryssa Adrakta | 2013-07-31 13:16:42

    absolutely magical! a must see for all product design students

  • friend
    ashis | 2013-08-05 20:33:15

    Beautiful project! Makes me think of so many possibilities right out of my kitchen. A must watch especially where I come from where finding a workshop or proper tools is so difficult!

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